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KF2, Tower Defense in Disguise

TheWaywardKid

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jul 6, 2018
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Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe my brain is slowly turning into a gelatinous mush as those around me rightfully question my ever-more-precarious sanity. Or.... bear with me here... "Killing Floor 2" essentially holds all of the game design elements of a Tower Defense game, transforming itself into a shooter by turning the towers into guns and the defense points into the players themselves. Many of the key design similarities to common Tower Defense elements are as follows:
  • Wave-based levels, where each wave becomes more difficult and there is a safe period of time between each wave to fix and bolster your defenses.
  • Strategies are often heavily based around "lanes". Lanes can be temporarily blocked and trapped. (Welding.)
  • The damage types and utility functions of towers are designed to counter - and be countered by - specific enemy types so that a variety is needed in order to survive the expected enemies. (Sirens, Scrakes, microwave damage, ballistic damage, etc.)
  • Money is earned during a wave. It can then be used to buy more towers (guns), repair towers (buy ammo), etc.
  • Towers are separated by tiers and cost levels. (Weapon Tiers.)
  • Towers can be upgraded once bought/placed. (Upgrade system.)
  • There is a "build limit", represented by a bar or number. (Weapon Weight.) Different towers use up different portions of the build limit. Players may not build more towers than the given build limit.
  • Taking heavy damage (losing a player) or exhausting tower durability (ammo) can be costly for the following wave. Completing bonus objectives ("Defend the Area", etc) nets the player additional funds.
 

Aleflippy

Grizzled Veteran
Sep 18, 2012
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Well, the main trope of a tower defense game is to have...

towers

Otherwise, you could say so of nearly all wave-based shooters. Is the zombie mode from Call of Duty a tower defense? Is the horde mode from Gears of War a tower defense?

It honestly makes me think how people think of Mass Effect 2 and 3 as RPGs simply because you got levels... Is call of duty a RPG too then? And what about most modern shooters that allows you to unlock periodically new stuff as you play? "RPG elements" doesn't make a game a RPG.

Just like having tower defense mechanics doesn't make a game a tower defense... The only thing close to it from a shooter perspective would be Super Monday Night Combat (anyone remember that one?)

We often say of fighting games that they have a "rock-paper-scissors" mechanic with the high-mid-low attack system...Would you honestly say that Tekken or Street Fighter are just rock-paper-scissors games?
 
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®omano

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May 14, 2009
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www.hellsoldiers.tk
I was going to reply yesterday I started quoting and replacing Killing Floor 2 in the quote with a car racing game I have and I could do the same as here, then my racing game was a tower defense lol, then I wondered what was this thread about in the end, is there a question? something to actually reply? then I closed the browser lol.
 
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TheWaywardKid

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jul 6, 2018
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Wow... I think y'all took this thread waaaaay too seriously! I thought my introduction involving "gelatinous mush" made it clear that this was lighthearted rumination. I wasn't trying to somehow slander the game you know and love! :LOL:

My point was that Killing Floor 2, on a design level, is almost like a Tower Defense that has been turned into a shooter. (I know that it isn't actually a tower defense game!) If you made the Zeds attack the pods, and turned each gun almost as-is into a deployable, then most of the rest of the systems and level design would essentially work as-is as a tower defense. Although I totally agree that Call of Duty's zombie mode could have a similar argument made, it isn't as "close" in design structure as Killing Floor is. Gears of War is far less so. (And NO, simple swaps would NOT work for a racing game; you are just saying that to try to make me sound stupid! Lighten up!)

Also... "what was this thread about in the end"?
Well... this is the "General Discussion" part of the forum. There doesn't need to be a clear point, does there? This thread was lighthearted game-related small-talk. 'Cuz, you know, it's a game. And games are meant to be enjoyed. :sneaky: (There's purpose to strategy talk, and to ideas such as the Tier 5 shotgun concept I once made. This was just for fun.)
But in order to provide a point, this discussion gave me an idea. Sure, it should technically be put in the "Ideas and Suggestions" part of the forum, but...

New game mode: DEFENSE
  • The previously-active Trader Pod is given a health bar akin to the drones. Zeds now prioritize attacking the pod (but still attack players).
  • If the pod is destroyed, the team loses.
  • Waves are endless in number of Zeds. Instead, waves end after a timer runs out. Later waves have higher density and harder enemies.
  • The weapons of dead players are not dropped on the ground, and are kept by players when they respawn. There is a massive cash penalty for dying. After a certain amount of time being dead, players may respawn into the map mid-wave. (Since players lose by the pods dying, not themselves.)
  • "Defend the Area" is replaced by "Retrieve the Data". Data Pads are randomly spawned away from the Trader Pod. If a player successfully leaves the defense and finds one of the Data Pads, a bonus amount of dosh is awarded.
 

Aleflippy

Grizzled Veteran
Sep 18, 2012
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The fact you're being so defensive about it when we simply exposed our point-of-view and the flaws in your reasoning really tells.

I think neither Romano or myself would have any satisfaction trying to make you "sound stupid"

However, you're honestly trying too hard to prove a point that doesn't need to be proven. "If the zeds attacked the pods and you turned the guns into towers, it would be a tower defense". So if you had a team full of engineers in Team Fortress 2, it would suddenly become a tower defense game as well? Does Overwatch become a tower defense if, playing in arcade mode, your team is full of Bastions?

It's just not enough my friend. I have no reason to roast you or your idea. But simply put, you're thinking way too much. That is all.

As for defense mode... It's pretty much the same as when you have to escort the drone, with a twist. You lose if the pod is destroyed and it obviously can't move...Otherwise it's pretty much the same. It's also pretty similar to the "defend the zone" objectives. So do we truly need a new mode based on that mechanic?
 

TheWaywardKid

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jul 6, 2018
28
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To quickly answer your questions: No, TF2 and Overwatch would not become Tower Defense, as none of the other commonly found mechanics or level design would really be in place. And no, we don't "need" a new mode based on the mechanic. I was responding to Romano's comment that this thread had no purpose, so I gave it one. Then again... what's the point to more guns? More maps? Endless mode? Answer: Content. The "Defense" concept would be easy to implement on all maps. It wouldn't be too different, but it'd be different.

The fact you're being so defensive about it when we simply exposed our point-of-view and the flaws in your reasoning really tells.
...Then, immediately after trying to make an assumption about my character ("...really tells"), claims to have no satisfaction from doing so. (And, even so, that doesn't necessarily apply in Romano's case.)
See, what I was defending against was how people responded to me, not the idea itself. I thought the humor, smilies, etc made it clear this was supposed to be lighthearted. The discussion concept is silly and meaningless, yes. And you are 100% right that I "think too much". So before we both provide any more fodder for the other to overanalyze, this has become prickly enough already for no good reason.
 
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Kittenmittens

Tripwire Interactive Community Team
Staff member
Mar 11, 2016
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Killing Floor Discord :)
I get what you are saying OP. It can be viewed as a very defensive game. Playing with a group, players can chose to post up strategically holding lanes that the zeds come through. Holding lanes in KF is a common phrase. As you progress the waves get harder and you're buying equipment to better hold your ground. So yes if you think of the players as the towers and the areas your holding and trying to survive in as the area of defense, I get it. I could see a modded gamemode that would even give you something to protect.

Thanks for sharing your perspective. I know you didn't mean it's literally a tower defense game but that you could draw similar feeling from it when playing.
 

papawomps

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jun 25, 2018
6
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+1 I've been kinda waiting for a turtle or tower defense type mode since KF1's tower defense custom maps and the original Nazi Zombie maps. I think it would be cool to have a maptype where defending a structure would be the imperative
 
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NokiaSE

Active member
Jul 17, 2012
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Maybe I'm crazy.
No you're not, you're just being too quick to say Bioshock being a re-skin of Half-Life or any FPS being a Doom-clone.
 

TheWaywardKid

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jul 6, 2018
28
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For the record, the "maybe I'm crazy" section was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek bit of self-derogatory humor to give people a very plausible explanation for this silly topic! I'm starting to regret making this topic, as it's clear it didn't come across to the public in the way I'd intended.
However, opposite to how you're saying I'm being "too quick" equate the two, I'd argue that you are being too quick to discount the similarities. In my opinion "Borderlands" (despite being a shooter) is far closer in design to "Diablo" (not a shooter) than it is to "Call of Duty". Of course "Killing Floor" isn't actually a tower defense game! But in my mind its design is very close to one.
 

Aleflippy

Grizzled Veteran
Sep 18, 2012
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Well, yes, but Borderlands was actually totally designed with Diablo in mind. When they market their games with containing "BAZILLIONS" of guns, it is crystal clear that they put that aspect in the forefront of their design. They even came up with a name for this kind of game (of which Destiny is also a part of) : Loot-shooters.

But then... Are Enter the Gungeon or Nuclear Throne "loot-shooters" too? They are most obviously roguelikes focusing on shooting and action-packed playthroughs, but you keep switching your weaponry during the game !

Same thing : is Borderlands a hack'n'slash? Not really... Not in the way Diablo is. It does have a strong focus on loot, it does have RPG elements. But it is still very much a shooter. Or an "action-RPG" if you want to put it that way.


As Kittenmittens said, yes. Your arguments are not invalid. It DOES feel somewhat like a Tower Defense if we strip the game to the very core of its mechanics. But in my opinion (and my opinion alone), it really is a stretch.

Everything started with Pong after all...
 
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NokiaSE

Active member
Jul 17, 2012
895
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For the record, the "maybe I'm crazy" section
(I thought) I was just being concise, if that left too much room for unnecessary interpretation then you needn't to explain yourself; as in we could just handle it by not handling it.

For everything else, I can see how KF2 is similar -- or might as well just be a TD game, but then again that's being too quick to say we're all African.
 

RockMax

Member
Sep 15, 2015
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I made a map that is played like "tower defence". Zeds follow the forced path nodes and once they reach the final destination the phys volume will hurt you. You can buy spikes, gas, fire, electric traps, blockades for dosh to slow the zeds down. You are actually protecting a potato that has 10 lives. Take a look here https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1521969231
 

Kittenmittens

Tripwire Interactive Community Team
Staff member
Mar 11, 2016
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Killing Floor Discord :)
Borderlands and Diablo comparison I understand too. Both heavily gear and rng loot based = CHECK. Both pick up quest based = CHECK. Both have classes and different builds based on abilities = CHECK. Both allow you to grind/ farm for better tiers of loot = CHECK.